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Health department to close for 13 days for furloughs

Post by David Wickert on Nov. 5, 2009 at 11:10 am with 4 Comments »
November 5, 2009 1:18 pm

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department will be closed for 13 days in 2010 as it implements furloughs to balance its budget.
The furlough days will be spread out over the year. Staff members will be required to take leave without pay on those days.
“This was a difficult decision,” said Dr. Anthony Chen, the department director, in announcing the move. “We had to ask ourselves how to provide the most public health services to the community, while achieving a balanced budget.
“Closing our doors to the public on 13 days is painful, but allowed us to continue essential services like disease control and environmental programs,” Chen said.
The departments faced a $2.2 million budget shortfall in 2010, the result of decreasing revenues, increasing costs and shrinking reserves. The furloughs will reduce salaries by $1 million.

Some of the furlough days are scheduled to coincide with existing holidays to reduce utility and equipment costs.
The furlough dates are:
• Monday, January 4, 2010
• Friday, January 15, 2010
• Friday, February 12, 2010
• Friday, March 12, 2010
• Monday, April 12, 2010
• Friday, May 28, 2010
• Friday, June 18, 2010
• Friday, July 2, 2010
• Monday, August 16, 2010
• Tuesday, September 7, 2010
• Monday, October 11, 2010
• Friday, November 12, 2010
• Monday, December 6, 2010
For more information on the health department, visit its web site.

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. crusader says:

    Why not close permanently? The state constitution doesn’t call for taxpayer provided care.

  2. Drek2305 says:

    The state constitution might not call for care but our moral responsibilities to the society that we create certainly do.

  3. beaulen1 says:

    I don’t think they provide doctor care so much as they regulate restaurants, dumps and things like that. Does the constitution call for taxpayer provided clean places to eat?

  4. Sapphragette says:

    And funnily enough Chen makes no mention of the fact that they laid off staff AFTER they got the Union to agree to these furloughs to prevent layoffs.

    So much for providing the “most public services”

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